Imagine Instant Access to All of your Dairy Data

Published on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 12:55pm

Imagine Instant Access to All of your Dairy Data.

 Article courtesy of MILC Group, By Walter M. Guterbock, DVM, MS.

 You may manage your herd with a herd management program. You may have two programs, one that came with the milk meters plus another one. You have a feed program for managing feed. You may have another provider for time and attendance, that possibly tracks employee training. Your milking equipment is sending you information on cow flow and milk production, possibly alerting you to malfunctions. Your bulk tank monitor is sending you information on temperature and volume. These programs do not talk to each other. Each program requires periodic updates and when versions go out of date things do not work as they should. Archived data may only be accessible with a lot of futzing. Accessing data may involve going to the farm office and hoping that no one is using the computer when you need to look at something. A crashed computer or hard drive is a crisis, and backups need to be maintained.

Now imagine a solution where all your data is in the cloud and instantly available from your phone, a tablet, or a computer. All modules in your programs are seamlessly updated automatically as soon as enhancements are made. All programs talk to each other in real time, so for example you can change a pen count and the feed loads get adjusted immediately, or you can adjust for a dry matter change in your silage during a rainstorm instantly from wherever you are. If an employee does not show up, you know it right away. Your nutritionist has access to the feed program and can make feed adjustments from wherever they are. You or your equipment servicer knows right away when equipment fails, or you have a hot tank of milk. You can track your employees’ training and make sure that they are getting the training that you and the law require. All your data is safely stored, is confidential, and is constantly backed up.

One of MILC Group’s founding principles is to solve the problems producers face with disconnected information and systems. MILC Group first focused on the modules described below with more modules planned for the future.
The one™ platform modules that are available today or in development include:

Feed: Many dairies still rely on outdated feed software or paper lists to manage the most expensive part of their operation. MILC Group’s one™ feed program allows you to monitor in real-time every aspect of feed management. With one™ feed, you can allow consultants access to your program from wherever they are, so they can make adjustments without having to remote into your computer or physically go to the dairy office and enter new diets or print out new feed sheets. Because one™ feed is a cloud-based program, it can easily integrate with other cloud-based technologies like the SCiO Cup. This allows rapid and frequent measurement of dry matters on many feedstuffs, and the results are automatically populated in one™ feed. Handy when your forages get rained on or you open a new bag or pile. The one™ feed app uses modern technology to provide a simple and intuitive interface that helps users get better at their tasks. Many dairies using one™ feed quickly observe an increase in feeder compliance with protocols as well as a reduction in time required to mix and deliver feed to cows. Additionally, dairies using one™ feed can track their feed inventories and make better predictions of their future needs. MILC Group also offers one™ truck scale, which allows your truck scale to talk to one™feed and update inventories. In sum, one™feed connects you, your nutritionist, your suppliers, and your feeders to allow you to feed more precisely, monitor inventory, update rations, reduce shrink, and measure accuracy.

Facility: Milk quality directly impacts dairy profitability. It would be easier to maintain milk quality if you had early warning of problems in your milking facility. MILC Group designed one™ facility to manage multiple sensors to help dairies proactively maintain their facilities and improve productivity. Watchdog, the wash monitoring module, is one of the many solutions available in one™ facility. It alerts you when factors such as pH and temperatures are not in the optimal range during both milking and wash phases. Instead of waiting for a monthly report on your pulsators, milc pulse™ provides real time monitoring and alerts identifying which stalls have unhealthy units. On one dairy, for example, 25% of the pulsators were found to be malfunctioning when milc pulse™ was first installed. one™ facility also provides tools and sensors to monitor milk production, tank levels, and a wide variety of other elements that can make managing your facility much more efficient.

People: Most producers would say that managing, retaining, and motivating their people is their biggest challenge. It is harder to recruit people and they cost more, so the cost of turnover is higher than it used to be. It is harder to find people with dairy experience, so training is more vital. Protocols tend to drift over time, so employees need repeated training. The law and your insurance company require safety training. MILC Group’s train trac™ program was designed specifically for dairy employees. It includes a full library of dairy safety and best practice training modules in Spanish and English and allows employees to train at their convenience on a mobile device. Quizzes are included to assure that they have mastered the material and dashboards and reports give you assurance and documentation that your people have been trained. MILC Group is developing a workforce management module called one™ people to help producers organize and deploy their labor force efficiently. This module will include employee information management, time tracking, scheduling, task management and more. It will integrate with all one™ platform modules to track labor usage and performance across your operation.

Animal: MILC Group is developing a herd management program that will interface with the other modules and third-party products. It will give you all the benefits of modern cloud-based technology including instant access to records and archives and the ability to invite your consultants to access your data and help with analysis and decision making whether they are visiting on-farm or not. one™ animal will allow you to monitor milk production, reproduction, and herd health even when you are away from the dairy. It will allow you to design Ovsynch protocols for synchronization and treatments and automatically monitor compliance with drug withdrawal times. Your entire herd management in the palm of your hand.

The Goal: The goal of the one™ platform is to allow you to monitor and see trends across all parts of your operation and to provide insights that your team can act upon. All programs talk to each other. You choose which critical control points you want to monitor. You can customize alarms to alert you when problems are detected. All your information is available to you wherever you are, and you can make it available to your advisers and consultants. No more worries about your computer crashing or outdated programs or backups. All of this is possible with the simple but powerful one™ cloud-based platform from MILC Group.